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Virginia State Police ready for Fourth of July DUI crackdown

The stars and stripes will be flying across the U.S. this Fourth of July weekend. It’s time for the annual celebration with family and friends of our nation’s birth. But it’s also time for law enforcement agencies in Leesburg, Loudoun County and across the commonwealth to be on the lookout for drivers under the influence of alcohol.

In fact, one Virginia TV station reports that about three-quarters of state police will be out looking for impaired and aggressive drivers as part of their participation in Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort). 

Part of that effort of reducing accidents is to make sure that drivers move a lane over from police stops. That way, when the officer steps out of the patrol car, the officer and driver both remain safe.

The other part of the endeavor will be to look for and stop drivers who appear to be intoxicated. Auto service club AAA says the three-day July 4th weekend is one of the most dangerous of the year. That is partly because of the large numbers of people who hit the roads for getaways, but also because of drivers who have had too much to drink at picnics or parties.

Last year, Virginia State Police cracked down hard, making 104 DUI arrests and issuing speeding citations to 11,350 drivers. They also handed out 1,300 seat belt violation tickets.

Please be careful this weekend. Roads are likely to be crowded, with many drivers in a hurry. Also, if you plan to have a drink at a family or friends gathering, please be sure to make it home safely with a designated driver. 

Source: WDBJ, "Virginia State Police enforce several safe-driving campaigns for July 4," Alison Parker, June 30, 2014

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